TOLEDO – Saturday, February 9, 2008, was a banner day for the Toledo Central Catholic athletic program.
The Irish had two chances to capture City League titles and they successfully converted both opportunities. In the afternoon, the Lady Irish captured the girls’ basketball championship while several hours later the wrestling team won their first City League title since 2002.
The Irish grapplers easily outdistanced runner-up Clay, 253-220, on the strength of five individual weight champions and a top six placement in all 14 weight classes.
The five individual champions for Central Catholic were: Dan Cook (112 pound weight class), Jordan Duckett (130), Mike Nino (171), Jake Henderson (189) and Dave Pickerel (215).
Runner-up Clay remained in contention for most of the day but the clinching moment for Irish came in the 171 final. Clay’s Ben Morrissey and Central’s Mike Nino went head-to-head and when Nino pinned Morrissey it not only sealed Central’s title it also put an exclamation point on it. Nino’s efforts earned him the tournament’s Most Valuable Wrestler award
One of the more dramatic matches of the day occurred at the 112 weight class. Central’s Dan Cook, who had advanced to the finals by winning only one prior match in the tournament, battled a nose bleed situation from the very first moments of the match. On three separate occasions the match had to be stopped to allow the bleeding to be tended to but Cook did not allow the problem to distract him and he came from behind to defeat his opponent, Clay’s Richie Urias, 9-5.
There was a distraction surrounding the tournament as the usually strong Waite team was weakened substantially by the pre-tournament suspensions of eight wrestlers. Waite coach Carmen Amenta dismissed the wrestlers for unspecified violations of team rules. According to Amenta, none of the eight wrestlers will return this season.
Other individual champions were: Nick Garcia, Clay (103); Scott Fuller, Waite (119); Kyle Leedy, Start (125); Aaron Dietsch, St. Francis (135); Alex Herrick, Waite (140); Mark Orth, Clay (145); Nate Brubaker, Start (152); Justin Wharton, Clay (160); Darnell Williams-Green, Woodward (285).
The team results were: Central Catholic, 253; Clay, 220; St. John’s, 171.5; Start, 161; St. Francis, 158.5; Waite, 123.5; Whitmer, 77.5; Woodward, 72; Libbey, 55; Bowsher, 31.5; Rogers, 15; Scott, 9